Child Visitation: Making it Count for the Holidays

Posted on in Child Custody

Current statistics indicate that nearly 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, and unfortunately, the holidays can be an emotional and stressful time for families dealing with a fresh divorce or separation. However, during this time of change, it is important to focus on the needs of any children involved and to establish child visitation for each parent.

Willingness to compromise during the holidays may sound impossible, depending on the nature of a couple’s divorce or separation. However, one helpful idea, according to certified Marriage Educator Cathy Meyer, is agree to “shift your holiday celebration to the day before or after, allowing the child to enjoy two celebrations without having to make a choice. Parents can also alternate years for holidays, with one parent having the child on Thanksgiving Day for example, while the other parent has Christmas Day.” Once visitation is established, parents can then make the most of the time they have with their children during the holidays.

Creating new traditions, especially for the non-custodial parent, is one way to make the holidays about your child and you. “It is up to you what memories you build with your children. Building positive memories means building strong relationships, at Christmas and all year around,” states Cathy Meyer. Next, allowing children a say in holiday planning and activities is also an important factor in reducing the stress of a new situation. Meyer suggests to “give your child the option of bringing a friend along or planning activities with friends during their time with you.” Finally, showing children unconditional love helps to build trust as well as building the spirit of the season. “The holidays are not about getting even with your ex, they are about finding joy and being together for the sake of your children.”

If you or someone you know is dealing with a fresh divorce or separation, visitation disputes can be established through negotiation or mediation. Contact an Illinois Family Law Attorney who can help explain your parental rights.

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